Friday, April 18, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

How Harris fits into the Eagles' O-line picture

The Eagles made a move to fill their largest remaining hole, signing Broncos tackle Ryan Harris (6-5, 300) to a one-year deal.

How Harris fits into the Eagles' O-line picture

Former Broncos tackle Ryan Harris has 34 starts in four seasons. (Joe Mahoney/AP Photo)
Former Broncos tackle Ryan Harris has 34 starts in four seasons. (Joe Mahoney/AP Photo)

The Eagles made a move to fill their largest remaining hole, signing Broncos tackle Ryan Harris (6-5, 300) to a one-year deal.

In the past few days, I've made it clear I thought right tackle was the team's biggest concern. On Monday, the team rotated Austin Howard in with the first team, where King Dunlap had previously been getting reps.

Winston Justice was placed on the PUP list and has not practiced yet at Lehigh.

In Harris, the Eagles get a relatively young option (26) who has started 34 games and played in 46 in four NFL seasons.

Barring any additional moves, the starting right tackle position will come down to Harris and Justice. But until Justice shows he's healthy, Harris has to be considered the favorite.

I can't say I've watched a lot of Harris, although I plan to in the next couple days. A reporter in Denver provided me with the following scouting report:

Harris has good feet and is a better pass blocker than run blocker. Always had nagging injuries here that held him back. Good functional strength, but a finesse guy, not a mauler. Added weight this offseason to help durability. Good guy, smart, good in the community.

In 2008, Harris made Peter King's Sports Illustrated All-Pro team, starting all 16 games. But injuries have slowed him since then. Harris started 18 games and missed 13 in the last two seasons.

According to the Denver Post, Harris can also play left tackle, which is important to note in case Jason Peters suffers an injury.

Per metrics from Pro Football Focus, Harris was an excellent blocker in the screen game.

Slowly but surely, the Eagles' offensive line picture is coming together:

Left tackle - Jason Peters is coming off a good year and is probably their best lineman.

Left guard - Todd Herremans is solid, and paired with Peters, provides a strong left side.

Center - Jamaal Jackson has been on the field at Lehigh and should solidify the center position.

Right guard - Danny Watkins signed and should practice tomorrow.

Right tackle - See above. Harris is the favorite, but Justice is also an option.

Reserves - Perhaps, most importantly, the Eagles have some reserves they can count on. On the interior, Evan Mathis has started 22 games and played in 58. Mike McGlynn has started 14 games and played in 19. His versatility is key. McGlynn can play center or guard, and his experience from a year ago can only help. At tackle, Justice has started 30 games and played in 41. That's 66 combined starts. Suddenly, this team has some depth along the O-line.

If you missed my posts from earlier today:

How Ronnie Brown fits in
Can Asomugha be Charles Woodson?
Asomugha lands on cover of SI


You can follow me on Twitter or become a fan of Moving the Chains on Facebook.

Sheil Kapadia Philly.com
About this blog
Sheil Kapadia is in his fifth season writing about the Eagles and the NFL for philly.com. His earliest memories as a sports fan include several trips to Veterans Stadium with his Dad. He's not a beat writer or an Insider, but is here to discuss the NFL 365 days a year. E-mail him at skapadia@philly.com or by clicking here

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Sheil Kapadia Philly.com
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